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From Japan +‎ -ese.


  • IPA(key): /ˌd͡ʒæpəˈniːz/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːz


Japanese (not comparable)

  1. Of, relating to, or derived from Japan, its people, language, or culture.
    A Japanese saw is one that cuts on the pull stroke rather than on the push stroke.
    In the United States, Japanese animation has had a tremendous surge in popularity over the last few years.
    • 2013 February 6, Hideo Otake, “Revising the Interpretation of the Japanese Economy”, in Michio Muramatsu; Frieder Naschold, editors, State and Administration in Japan and Germany: A Comparative Perspective on Continuity and Change[1], page 319:
      Japanese retail stores have strove to, and have succeeded in, fulfilling these severe demands, and in doing so, have constantly had to innovate both technologically and institutionally in order to keep up with the competition.




Japanese (countable and uncountable, plural Japanese or Japaneses)

  1. (countable) A person living in or coming from Japan, or of Japanese ancestry.
    A Japanese will typically have black hair, brown eyes, and pale skin.
    • 2007 October 16, Madeleine Brand, “Japan Struggles to Meet Its CO2 Emissions Limits”, Day to Day, National Public Radio,
      Motoyuki Shibata isn’t a typical Japanese.
    • 1938, Ogden Nash, The Japanese
      How courteous is the Japanese;
      He always says, "Excuse it, please."
  2. (uncountable) Japanese food.
    Let’s go out to eat. I’m in the mood for Japanese.

Usage notesEdit

As with other nationalities formed with -ese, the countable singular noun in reference to a person (as in "I am a Japanese", "writing about Japanese cuisine as a Japanese") is uncommon and often taken as incorrect. In its place, the adjective is used, by itself (as in "I am Japanese") or with a word like person, man, or woman ("writing about Japanese cuisine as a Japanese person"). However it is rather frequent in East Asia as a translation for the demonym written 日本人 (rìběnrén) in Chinese or 日本人 (Nihonjin) in Japanese.



Proper nounEdit


  1. A language that is primarily spoken in East Asia and is the official language of Japan.
    I’ve been studying Japanese for three years, and I still can’t order pizza in Tokyo!



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